Biking India's Nubra Valley

Day 1 New Delhi

We meet at Ashok Country Resort in Delhi and gather for check in and welcome dinner.

Ashok Country Resort
Dinner

Day 2 New Delhi – Leh

We transfer to the domestic airport for an early morning flight to Leh (the airfare for New Delhi – Leh – New Delhi is not included in the tour cost). We take it easy the rest of the day to acclimate to the sudden change in altitude to 3,500 m (11,480 ft). If you are feeling up to it, go for a slow walk around Leh and visit the ruined Leh Palace, which resembles Potala Palace in Tibet, for a great view from the roof, or the market where Tibetan antiques, Chinese silk, Buddhist ornaments, turquoise stones, and silver jewelry are for sale.

Hotel Kanglachen
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 Leh - Stok - Thiksey - Leh

We take it nice and slow while we try out our bikes and lungs for the first time. We transfer for 30 minutes past the Tibetan settlement of Cho-glamsar and cross the milky waters of the Indus by bridge. We visit the Stok Palace Museum belonging to the erstwhile royal family of Ladakh, who still reside on the premises. We then bike down to the junction and take a back road for 10 km to Stakna monastery, then cross back over the Indus River to meet the main road to Thiksey monastery. Built across a hillside, the monastery resembles the Potala Palace of Tibet and houses a large three-story statue of the Maitreya (future) Buddha. In the monastery complex is a Tibetan medicine shop and a residing Amchi (Tibetan doctor). We drive back to Leh from the monastery and meet up for dinner.

Hotel Kanglachen
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 44km
+607m
-901m

Day 4 Leh - Nemo - Likir

After an early breakfast, it’s a short transfer to Nemo and the start of our cycling. We follow the Zanskar River through a spectacular gorge, riding on a newly built black-topped road for 20 km to Chilling. After catching our breath, we raft down the Zanskar River on Grade 3 rapids back to Nemo. If you prefer bikes to boats, there is the option of biking the 15 km back to Nemo instead of rafting. We then transfer to Likir.

Lukhil Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 63km
+1365m
-1409m

Day 5 Likir - Nemo - Leh

From our hotel, we transfer for about 40 minutes to the top of Tserma-chenla (3,750 m/12,303 ft), then it’s a fantastic roller coaster ride back to Likir (on a dirt road for the first section and then tarmac) and up to a monastery where there is a huge Buddha statue. We continue the downhill blast for 37 km to Nemo, with great views of the Zanskar river valley. We transfer to Leh where you are free to try one of the many restaurants in town for dinner.

Hotel Kanglachen
Breakfast, Lunch
Ride 48km
+765m
-1524m

Day 6 Leh - Sakti

We begin our trip to the Nubra Valley by following the Manali highway for a short while before leaving the main road to we climb gradually up 200 m to the village of Sakti. The road leads up a valley past houses scattered amongst farmland and past a small stream lined with willow bushes as you cycle along the clean and fresh countryside. You may meet a few odd jeeps and maybe a bus; otherwise, there is no other traffic. Looking ahead you can see where we are headed, Warila Pass.

Tented Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 51km
+1358m
-427m

Day 7 Warila Pass

We get an early start as we have a long and steady climb ahead of us to Warila Pass (5,195 m/16,972 ft). It’s a challenging climb to the top, but you are rewarded with impressive views of the surrounding mountains. As we roll down on the recently built tarmac road, we enter the winter habitat of the elusive snow leopard. We cycle down to the large villages of Tangyar and Khyungru (4,100 m/13,451 ft), where they have seen very few foreigners since this road has been open for only five years. The villagers remain engaged in their farming and cattle rearing during the short summer months when they must grow and gather as much as possible to survive over the long harsh winter.

Tented Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 45km
+1220m
-1618m

Day 8 Shyok Valley

We continue our downhill blitz on the new tarmac road, passing tradi-tional Ladakhi homes, before climbing gradually to Khalsar, a small bustling village with a cluster of tea and noodle shops. Here, we join the main Karakoram highway into the wide and fertile Nubra Valley. We ride downhill to the Shyok valley floor, where wild lavender and sea buckthorn bushes grow. We follow the Shyok River to a bridge, and then it’s a gentle climb on a good tarmac road to Hundar Village (3,048 m/10,000 ft).

Karma Inn
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 58km
+803m
-1449m

Day 9 Hundar - Turtuk

Today is our longest distance day, but we are riding through the valley, so there are no steep climbs. As we cycle to the village of Hundar, we pass the Deskit monastery, and the landscape changes to sand dunes. As we continue bicycling on this newly opened route, we come to the village of Turtuk, which belonged to Pakistan until the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. Just 22 km from the Pakistan border, this farming village at 2,650 m/8,694 ft is inhabited by Muslims so here you encounter a different culture.

Tented Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 124km
+1819m
-2165m

Day 10 Turtuk – Khardung

We have a day off the bikes. After a leisurely breakfast, we transfer 3 hours back to Khalsar and then set up our camp in pastures close to the North Pulu check post. It’s a good road all along – huge rocky spires and amazing rock formations as the road snakes its way around the mountainside. The only village you pass is Khardung after Khalsar, and we camp in grazing grounds.

Tented Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Khardungla Pass - Leh

From the North Pulu check point, it is 14 km to the top of Khardungla Pass (5,359 m/17,582 ft). There are lots of long switchbacks as you wind your way up to the highest point of the trip. Once at the top, you can see the Saser Mutztagh mountain range, where the highest peak is 7,672 m (25,170 ft), and the Stok mountain range if you look towards Leh. From here, it’s an exhilarating downhill for an amazing 39 km to Leh.

Hotel Kanglachen
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 52km
+814m
-1972m

Day 12 Leh – New Delhi

We head to the Leh airport for our flight to New Delhi and transfer to our hotel in the city centre.

Claridges Hotel
Breakfast

Day 13 Tour Of New Delhi

Our local guide takes us on a tour of New Delhi. We visit the top sites of the Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, and Qutab Minar with a drive through New Delhi. We meet up for a farewell dinner in the evening.

Claridges Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 Departure

Travel home or stay and see more of incredible India.

Breakfast